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Canyon overhauls its Strive enduro bike to be more race-focused

New 2022 Canyon Strive CFR enduro bike
(Image credit: Boris Beyer)

Despite Jack Moir scooping up the EWS overall last year, Canyon is not resting on its laurels and is intent on making its Strive enduro race bike even faster for 2022.  In order to hunt out valuable seconds, Canyon has given the Strive CFR a race-focused make-over by tweaking geometry, increasing frame strength and stiffness, as well as giving the bike a new suspension kinematic.

The Strive has been in Canyon's range since 2010 and when it got its first major overhaul in 2015 was one of the brand's stand-out bikes. A lot has changed both in racing and tech and since then Canyon's best enduro mountain bike evolved with enduro trends, with its geometry slackening and moving to 29er wheels. 

Canyon says that the outgoing Strive, which was the first long travel 29er in the brand's range, was designed to cater to a broad range of riding, not just enduro racing. However, with the Canyon Spectral CFR and Torque 29 now caught up, Canyon has decided to re-focus the Strive to be an all-out race machine.

New 2022 Canyon Strive CFR enduro bike

(Image credit: Boris Beyer)

While the old Strive may have still been winning trophies, racer's bikes were far from standard with modifications to travel, ride height, head tube angle, and bottom bracket height. Taking into account the changes and feedback from the CLLCTV Enduro racing team, Canyon has baked these specs into the new bike.

Reach has grown by 35mm on a size Large to 505mm, which is paired with a 63-degree head angle in order to increase stability on fast technical trails. A 78-degree head angle helps push the rider forwards on climbs and the bike has 435mm stays. While longer is often touted as better Canyon hasn't forgotten that some riders prefer to size up or down, case example Jack Moir who despite being a tall chap sized down for his race bike. To make this easier for customers Canyon has changed its Medium and Large sizing to offer better sizing flexibility for its most popular bike sizes.

New 2022 Canyon Strive CFR enduro bike

(Image credit: Boris Beyer)

The new frame features a reach adjusting headset too, which offers 10mm of adjustment in 5mm increments, to give riders more adjustability to tune the ride feel based on the tracks they are riding.

On the subject of geometry adjustment, the Strive still features Canyon's Shape Shifter 2.0 system. First introduced on the 2015 Strive, the innovative tech is still relatively unique to Canyon. Shape Shifter 2.0 remains unchanged from the previous Strive, using an air-sprung stanchion to alter the position of the upper shock mount. That means with a push of a lever from your handlebars the Strive's travel and kinematics change from the 160mm of rear travel in 'Shred' mode to 140mm travel, 1.5 degrees steeper head angle, and increased anti-squat for more efficiency in 'Pedal' mode.

New 2022 Canyon Strive CFR enduro bike

(Image credit: Boris Beyer)

The travel has been increased to 170mm at the front and 160mm at the rear and Canyon has optimized its Triple Phase suspension design for the demands of enduro mountain biking and racing. Canyon says this allows the suspension to be more supple at the beginning of the stroke to boost traction before ramping up to provide more support on medium to large hits. Anti-squat was also increased to 24 percent in Pedal Mode to improve pedaling efficiency. 

The Strive is compatible with both air and coil shocks depending on the ride feel that you prefer, with air being more progressive and coil being more sensitive.

New 2022 Canyon Strive CFR enduro bike

(Image credit: Boris Beyer)

Canyon's CFR moniker stands for Canyon Factory Racing and usually denotes the lightest version of a bike, however, the new Strive CFR is actually heavier than the old model. Canyon opted to increase the stiffness of the front triangle, optimized pivot locations, and completely remodeled all the frame's tube shapes. All these changes add up to a claimed 25 percent increase in stiffness and a bike Canyon says can be trusted when ridden hard. The frame weighs in at a claimed 2,700g including the Shapeshifter, which is just 100 g more than the Spectral 29 by Canyon's measurements.

Being race-focused, the Strive CFR is only available in CFR carbon with 29er wheels only and has clearance for 2.5-inch tires. There is a BSA threaded bottom bracket and Universal Mech hanger to keep maintenance a little simpler and downtube and chainstay protectors to protect the frame. Medium and above bikes will fit a full-size 750mm water bottle in the frame and there is an accessory mounting point underneath the top tube.

New 2022 Canyon Strive CFR enduro bike

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Strive CFR range and specs

Canyon will have two Strive CFR models although availability looks to be a little complicated. Some bikes will be available from May although lead times on some specific specs, colors, and sizes aren't going to be available until March 2023.

Bad news for American Canyon fans, Canyon is only offering the top-spec Strive CFR to US customers with availability pegged for Fall 2022.

Bikes will be available to order from Canyon.com (opens in new tab).

New 2022 Canyon Strive CFR enduro bike

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Strive CFR

  • Frame - Canyon Strive CFR M147
  • Fork - Fox 38 Factory Grip2 (170mm)
  • Shock - Fox X2 Factory
  • Groupset - Shimano XTR w/ XT Cassette (10-51T)
  • Cranks - Race Face Next R (32T)
  • Brakes - Shimano XTR (203/203 mm)
  • Wheelset - DT Swiss EX511/ 350
  • Tires - F: Maxxis Assegai 2.5 Maxxgrip, EXO+ R: Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4 Maxxgrip, EXO+
  • Handlebar - G5 AL
  • Stem - G5
  • Seatpost - G5 Adjustable Dropper
  • Saddle - ERGON SM10 Enduro Comp
  • Weight - 15.84kg
  • Price - $7,299 / £6,099

New 2022 Canyon Strive CFR Underdog enduro bike

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Strive CFR Underdog

  • Frame - Canyon Strive CFR M147
  • Fork - Fox 38 Performance Elite Grip2 (170mm)
  • Shock - Fox X2 Factory
  • Groupset - Shimano XT w/ SLX Cassette (10-51T)
  • Cranks - Shimano XT (32T)
  • Brakes - Shimano XT (203/203 mm)
  • Wheelset - DT Swiss EX511/ 370LN
  • Tires - F: Maxxis Assegai 2.5 Maxxgrip, EXO+ R: Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4 Maxxgrip, EXO+
  • Handlebar - G5 AL
  • Stem - G5
  • Seatpost - G5 Adjustable Dropper
  • Saddle - ERGON SM10 Enduro Comp
  • Weight - 16.04kg
  • Price - $N/A / £4,849
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro and, most recently, gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotlands wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect and the muckier side of Cyclingnews 


Rides: Canyon Strive, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg